India's higher education system is undergoing massive change. On
the one hand, there is a group of major universities moving from a
3+2 year Bachelor/Master system towards a 4 year university degree
making Master program superfluous. On the other hand, a thriving
developing economy leads to ever greater numbers of students pushing into universities.
Some of those universities have become too big by now, says a
new report by the University Grants Commission (UCG),
the official body in charge of university financing and quality
maintenance. State universities with more than 100 affiliated
colleges or 50,000 students should be split up accordingly.
University of Mumbai, for example, accounted for about 549,432
students and 653 affiliated colleges in 2011.
Inefficiencies, decline in quality from
The UCG experts criticize that bringing too many academic units
under one roof has led to inefficiencies and a decrease in quality.
"Steep decline in the academic standards, profiteering by the
college managements, low level of the quality of teaching,
vulnerable examination systems etc were reported from a number of
affiliated colleges from several states."
"Further, in view of the increasing load of affiliating
functions due to recurring large number of affiliated colleges, the
State universities have become examination conducting bodies for
these colleges with ill-equipped, age-old administrative machinery
and personnel. Small is beautiful, in large systems, disaster is
The UCG commission also sees that its recommendations will face
resistance from some institutes. "One argument is that when the
university gets bifurcated/trifurcated, the collective wisdom which
has gone into its making will be affected. So some colleges may not
like to go out of the university because of the reputation and
goodwill which the university has. As a new university, it might
take time to build up such reputation/goodwill."